Saturday, July 18, 2009

• Saturday, July 18, 2009 - Grandma's canner

Broke up a bushel of green beans yesterday, with mom's help :) only to find my gasket in my canner isn't fitting right. Broke out my grandma's old canner and voila, 20 quarts of green beans! I didn't really think it would work, it has been moved probably 6 times since I have had it, and it sat in grandma's attic before that, but I was ready to try anything. Thank goodness my mom came up to help me with my first time pressure canning, not sure I could've figured it all out myself.
This morning I went to the garden and picked a few cucumbers, some squash, some green beans, an onion and dug a few new potatoes. Something has been digging out there and I found 3 potatoes with bites out of them. After seeing those, I couldn't resist digging some for our supper.
We did eat the rabbit stew, it was actually pretty good. Today we have 3 roosters to go to freezer camp, then I think butchering will be done until my turkeys are big enough. I am back out to the garden...I have some ideas about starting some fall veggies, and enlarging the garden spot quite a bit, the weather is nice enough to make that happen this weekend I think.
~Blooming where we're planted~

• Friday, June 19, 2009 - It makes it all worth it

I was just standing at the window watching little girl farmer chase a chicken around the barnyard. She has her summer hair, and her sundress, and flipflops and looks like the picture of summer. She turns into a different kid when she's at the barnyard. Makes me extremely happy we made the choice to move to our own farm.

We had a bad storm yesterday. The barnyard got pretty flooded and Mr Farmer had to go rescue a broody hen. I swear she woulda died before getting off that nest. We got a new goat on Tuesday from the dog pound. They found him wandering around next to a road, held him the required time for a stray..although I have never heard of a stray goat, then we adopted him. I am sure someone bought his mother at auction, then turned him loose since he is a wether. He is very gentle though, and friendly, and a good starter baby goat for little girl farmer to practice on for 4H next year. He is also about the same size as our first little doeling Clover, so I am hoping they will be pals once they get used to each other. It's nice to see the barnyard so full of life :)

And the garden has taken off. We got a squash and a tomato so far, and several radishes. I am surprised since we got it out pretty late, its doing well. The little farmers were soooo excited to get those first fresh veggies that they helped grow. They are learning all about where food comes from, and are not opposed to eating a chicken they have seen butchered, which also surprises me. Mr farmer butchered his first rabbits today, so we will see now if we can really eat them.

I hope to keep this updated more frequently, just hard to do with so much going on, but it is nice to look back and see the changes.

~Blooming where we're planted~

• Saturday, February 28, 2009 - New Life on the farm....

We have baby chickies!! And ducklings. And our much beloved Heckle survived and now has his very own harem :) We picked up 3 hens from a lady who is getting rid of all her critters, then bought a couple more standard hens and some banties from the super nice guy we bought our first hens from. We also bought 2 pygmy goats from him. Today, we went to Orscheln's to buy goat feed and minerals...and they had baby chicks. We got 13 chicks, and 4 ducklings. They will have turkeys and guineas in a couple weeks, so we will be going back for them. We already placed an order for 25 brown egg layers + 1 free rare chick from Murray McMurray hatchery. They will be here in 2 weeks. And, Rita the goatie is due to have her baby/babies anyday! Someone at work needed to rehome her rabbit, so of course he came home with me. Then we got two beagle brother babies. We are gonna be overrun with critters! Walter the wether doesn't seem to care much for the pygmies so, we had to build a separate pen for them. Now we are just waiting on the weather to cooperate to build the chicken coop. It will be as tight as Ft Knox when it's all way am I losing any more chickens to whatever critter that was last time.

I can't wait to see the farm in bloom! I was checking out the raspberry and blueberry plants at Orscheln's today, even though I know I can't plant anything yet. Well, I actually do have some pepper, tomato and lettuce seeds started in the house. I am sooo anxious to start playin in the dirt !! :) It's coming along nicely, we have tons of new ideas, just waitin on spring to show up....

~Blooming where we're planted~

• Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - Hard Weekend

Saturday we mostly spent the day here on the farm, went to bed as usual after the nightly door lock check. Mr Farmer woke me up early saying he saw something that looked like white feathers out at the goat pen, and thought something had happened to Paleface, our silky roo. Like a good Mrs Farmer, I told him go check it out, and wake me up if anything was wrong. I heard the door slam, and a highly upset Mr Farmer come back in the house. The only words I heard were..."Everything is dead". I very calmly asked..."even Walter and Rita?" (our goats) "No, all the chickens, the roosters, Mabel and Alfreda, your hens, all of them" or something very similar, is what I heard. Followed by something about the doors being opened on the chicken tractors. We obviously lived in the city too long, as all I could think was someone came in the night and killed our chickens out of spite. I threw on my shoes and jacket over my pajamas and went to check it out. Nine dead hens and 3 dead roosters. We thought the 4th roo was dead too, but as Mr Farmer went to retrieve his body from the goat house, he made a rooster noise. Now, anyone that knows me well, knows that I used to say on average, once a week..."stupid roosters, I hate roosters." But, I have to say, at that point, after all the feathers and bodies everywhere...that rooster noise sounded like it came straight down from Heaven. Suddenly, there was something we could do about the situation, and the rooster who used to be known as Heckle became known as Trooper the house rooster. He is, as I type, in a critter carrier in my laundry room. I have promised him a whole harem if he just survives.

After the cleanup, we left for Grannys with the two most excited farmer kids in the world. They love Granny, and could think of nothing better than seeing their cousins and Granny and opening presents. We enjoyed our day, came home early, as we had left Bernie Bernard in the house alone, and didn't want to come home to a mess. He was excited to see us, sniffed and licked everyone, went out to do his business, came in and went to sleep. I still am not sure exactly what happened, but the kids were fighting over a toy from Grannys house, Mr Farmer reached down to take the toy away from little boy farmer, and Bernie attacked him. I heard screaming, then realized it was coming from myself. The little farmers were also crying and screaming. It didn't last long, looking back on it, but I am sure for Mr Farmer it seemed like an eternity. We have a one strike rule in our home when it comes to pets, so Bernie was returned to the shelter to be put to sleep. I loved him a lot, but I love Mr Farmer and the little farmers with my whole heart, so it was an easy decision, and even though it hurt, I am sure it didn't hurt me as much as Mr Farmer is hurting. I thank God it wasn't one of my children who got attacked.

There is surely a lesson or two in here somewhere, and they will be revealed in God's time. Until then, I will concentrate on making my farm safe for all the animals...and the Farm family. A good secure, weasel-proof chicken house is a perfect project for this winter, and should be finished just in time to order chicks. Who knew you could love chickens?? And even roosters?? I guess I will take the hatchery catalog and go sit with Trooper the survivor and let him pick out his harem now ;)

Hope you and all of yours have a safe and Merry Christmas!

~Blooming where we're planted~

• Saturday, November 29, 2008 - Fun at home

Today, we slept in. Woke up, started a load of laundry, and got ready to go out and feed the critters. By the time the kids were dressed and ready to go out, the laundry was done. We all went out together, and the chickens and goats got fed while I hung the first load of clothes. We came back in , started another load while breakfast was cooking, then hung that load after breakfast. Hubby decided to bake cookies, lots and lots of cookies. Chocolate chip, butterscotch chip, and sugar..yummmyyy. Then the kids and I made dough ornaments. Loads of fun, but they didn't dry very well in the oven. Hopefully they will dry a little more overnight. Maybe we will paint them after church tomorrow. Had to rush to get the clothes in before dark, as the weather folks are saying we have a good chance of snow tomorrow. Next weekend, we are planning on cutting a tree. It will be our first Christmas here at the farm, and our first real tree in years. I can't wait to get the house all decorated!

~Blooming where we're planted~

• Sunday, November 16, 2008 - New respect for the pioneers....

It's around 40 degrees out, and I hung a load of laundry. The dryer is broken, and I keep saying I need to buy a new one, but can't make myself spend the money just yet. Especially since our farm seems to be the windiest place on earth. A couple times I have hung out laundry, and by the time I got done, the stuff I hung first is dry. No electricity...the wind is FREE!!! See, thats when it gets hard to buy that new dryer.

We got two new hens, and some roosters, and are now getting at least 1 egg a day. Not bad for winter, and considering one of the hens is too young to lay yet. The goats are great, we had a dusting of snow this morning, and they really seemed to enjoy being out in it.

The big news is....we got a St. Bernard. King Bernie Bernard to be exact. He is the sweetest dog I have ever met. He came from a shelter, where they said he had been roaming some neighborhood for the last year. He is loving it here in our warm cozy farmhouse.

~Blooming where we're planted~

• Sunday, October 19, 2008 - It's all coming together....

The chicken coop is built, we got 2 hens last Sunday, and so far, two beautiful brown eggs! Today, we got 2 goats. They are very very cool. I will have to post pics soon.

We are so very blessed to have such great neighbors around here. We got a bunch of free lumber from one of them tearing down and old trailer and add on, so our goat house ended up costing very little. When we got home from the hardware store, we found that another neighbor had plowed our garden spot for this spring. I am hopeful that I will always feel as blessed here on this little farm as I do right now, with my family around me, and the animals happy in their beds.

~Blooming where we're planted~

• Thursday, October 2, 2008 - Toasting Marshmallows

Last night was gorgeous out....we decided to have a little fire and toast some marshmallows. What a great time, sitting outside all warm and toasty with my cup of hot tea. The kids loved it, especially all the ooey gooey goodness They are hoping for a repeat tonight.

*~Blooming where we're planted~*

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - Fall is Here!! : )

It is finally's FALL!!! Yesterday was 85, last night it rained, and today we won't see 70. It feels great! I really want to decorate, but also don't want it to look too much like Halloween. This spring will be our first full garden here, so I was outside trying to plan where it will be...and how big. I love fall, but in a few months, I will be trying to rush through winter and get to spring. I am hopeful that after this winter I will be totally self sufficient as far as vegetables and beans. It will be nice to cross all that off the grocery list. And after the 3 days of no electricity two weeks ago, I have learned a valuable lesson about canning vs freezing. I am collecting jars from everywhere so we will be prepared. Maybe now that the weather has cooled off, I will be able to get that chicken coop together.